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We Need To Talk : The CROWN Act

Companion guide to the panel series, We Need To Talk, sponsored by the University Libraries and Greenspun College of Urban Affairs with livestreaming by UNLV TV.

Our Panelists

Dina Neal, Nevada State Senator

Erica Vital-Lazare, Professor of Creative Writing and Marginalized Voices in Dystopian Literature at the College of Southern Nevada

Ingrid Ruffin, Associate Dean and Division Director for Research and Education at UNLV University Libraries

What is the CROWN Act?

( Photo credit: )

The CROWN Act was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition, in partnership with then State Senator Holly J. Mitchell of California, to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.

CROWN stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

New York was the second state to introduce the CROWN Act under the leadership of Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) & Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx, Westchester). The states of  New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, Maine, Tennessee, & Massachusetts have also enacted the CROWN Act. Additional bills were signed in New Mexico, Nebraska, Oregon, Illinois, Louisiana, and Alaska that were inspired by The CROWN Act. In March 2021, the federal bill H.R 2116 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and S.888 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cory Booker. On March 18, 2022, the federal CROWN Act bill passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 235 Yeas and 189 Nays.

On December 14, 2022, the federal bill was brought to the Senate floor for passage by unanimous consent. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass due to an objection brought by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). The federal CROWN Act will now need to be reintroduced in the 2023 legislative session.

Black Hair and the American Story

Why Do We Need Legislation About Hair?

Hair Love

Selections From The Stacks

The Scholarly Context of Hair Politics

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